English Christmas Punch

Christmas punch recipe

The Spruce / Teena Agnel

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 27 servings
Yield: 3 quarts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
138 Calories
0g Fat
18g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 27
Amount per serving
Calories 138
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 8mg 41%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 82mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This English Christmas punch is a traditional warm drink that is perfect for holiday parties. It is easy to make and the mix of rum, red wine, and the tea of your choice is fantastic against the citrus fruits.

Use your favorite dark rum and red wine for the punch because almost all of them will do fine. The real decision here is in the tea. Most green and black teas would work perfectly (Earl Grey is a great example). An orange-based tea would be nice as well.

There are two methods used to make this punch. One simply warms everything together and the other involves a little showmanship. If you choose to light a fire in a ladle full of rum, be sure to use caution. Definitely do not be near the Christmas tree!

For both types of service, you will want to make sure that both your punch bowl and glasses are suitable for warm drinks. Most heavy glass bowls will work, as will stainless steel bowls or chafing dishes. Avoid acrylic bowls because most cannot handle the heat.

“The English Christmas Punch is a sweet, warm, and festive drink just made for a holiday party. It’s nice to have an alternative to eggnog for those trying to stay away from dairy.” —Joan Velush

English Christmas Punch/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


Steps to Make It

The No-Flame English Christmas Punch

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for no flame Christmas punch
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  2. Heat the rum, wine, tea, sugar, orange and lemon juice in a large pot over medium heat.

    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Do not boil.

    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Pour the mixture into a heat-proof punch bowl. Add seasonal fruits like orange slices and cranberries. Serve.

    Fruit in punch
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

The Flamed English Christmas Punch

  1. Heat the wine, tea, orange and lemon juice in a large pot over medium heat. Stir to combine. Do not boil.

    Ingredients for flamed for English Christmas recipe
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  2. Pour the mixture into a heat-proof punch bowl.

    Cocktail punch
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Place as much of the 2 cups of sugar as possible into a large metal ladle. Add any remaining sugar to the punch bowl.

    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Saturate the sugar in the ladle with rum.

    Sugar in punch
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  5. Carefully ignite the rum and sugar in the ladle and pour it into the bowl while still aflame.

    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  6. Stir well to extinguish the flames.

    Punch bowl
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  7. Pour the remainder of the rum into the punch.

    Pour rum in
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  8. Stir well, ensuring the sugar is completely dissolved, and then add the fruit.

    Stir well
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  9. Serve warm.

    English Christmas punch recipe
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

How Strong Is the English Christmas Punch?

This is an important question because holiday punch is notorious for creating, shall we say, spectacles at office parties and other affairs.

Dark rum can be tricky because there are a number of over-proof rums available (these are best for flaming). For this scenario, we will do a comparison.

  • If using an 80-proof dark rum like Goslings Black Seal along with a 10 percent ABV red wine, then the punch would be around 19 percent ABV (38 proof).
  • If using an entire bottle of 151-proof dark rum with that same wine, the punch would be much stronger at 27 percent ABV (54 proof).
  • A happy medium can be found if we use 1 cup of 151 proof rum to get a great flame and use an 80-proof rum for the punch base. In this instance, the punch would come out to be about 21 percent ABV (42 proof).

As you can see, the rum you choose is going to make a significant difference and you may want to make some wise choices if Sam from accounting tends to go overboard at the holiday office party. In any case, this is not the lightest punch you can mix up.